Inspire and Dream


Sow the Seeds of Hope (An excerpt from Harvey Mackay’s nationally syndicated weekly column…)

Hope is the reason most of us find a way to keep on keeping on. Hope is what helps us get past the bumps in the road and find a better path. Hope is believing that the best is yet to come.
Few people in the history of college sports have had a greater impact than my close friend Lou Holtz.
He’s the only coach ever to lead six different schools to bowl games – all within his first two years as head coach at each school. How did he do it? Well, according to coach, there’s really only one way.
“I think everybody has to have four things in their life to be complete,” he told me. “First, everybody needs something to do – something you have a passion for regardless of age. Second, everybody needs someone to love. Third thing, everybody needs something to hope for – something that you’re really striving to accomplish. And finally, everybody needs something to believe in.”
In my mind, one of the best examples of hope is the backyard gardener. A gardener is someone who believes that what goes down must come up. Planting tiny seeds, hoping the ground is fertile, hoping for enough rain to nourish the seeds but not so much that they will drown, hoping for sunshine and warm temperatures, hoping for a bountiful crop or beautiful flowers.
There are no guarantees when the spade turns the earth in the spring. No way of predicting whether the elements will cooperate. No assurance that the rabbits will stay away from the tempting sprouts. And yet, they hope for a successful growing season when so little is in their control.
When you plant seeds of hope in your garden, or business, or life, there are no promises. But there is a driving force that makes you persevere because you have hope that you will succeed. You have something to believe in.


This beautiful poem has been contributed by our very own Garden Club Sister Victoria Ahlquist written by her grandfather, Edward Charles Palmer


An Evening Meditation

by Edward Charles Palmer

When the shadows of the evening Settle down along the sea
And the silver of the moonlight Comes filtering thru a tree,
Then my worldly possessions
For another day must wait
While I go into my garden
To retreat and meditate.
The infinite expansion
Of the firmament above
In the gentle breeze caressing In the calling of the dove
In the fragrance of the flowers In the softness of the sod,
There is something strangely sacred Something mighty close to God.
When I touch the tender smoothness Of the bly’s marble leaf
It soothes my ugly temper
In a way beyond belief.
With the laughing of the breakers
All my saddest thoughts depart
And the scratching of the briar
Heals the wounds within my heart.
The companionship of nature Is truth revealed to me
How really insignificant
We earthly mortals be.
Then the singing of a nightbird
Breaks the stillness and the calm
And is born a song within me With the tempo of a psalm.
So I measure all the graces
with which my life is blest’
And all my petty sorrows
are eclipsed by happiness.
Then as in silent gratitude
I pause alone to pray A spell of peace comes o’er me
That my pen cannot portray.
So, if you would dispel your cares And seek the peaceful mood,
Discard your worldly shackles In a gardens solitude.
For the Spirit of a garden Equalizes rich and poor
And you’ll face life stronger, wiser, More contented than before.


Some evenings after days when the world feels like it has poured all of its despair onto you, when I am awash with burdens that rest atop my body like a burlap of jostling shadows I find a place to watch the sunset.
I dig my feet into a soil that has rebirthed itself a million times over. I listen to the sound of the leaves as they decide whether or not it’s time to descend from their branches.
It’s hard to describe the comfort one feels when sitting with something you trust will always be there. Something you can count on to remain familiar when all else seems awry.
How remarkable it is to know that so many people have watched the same sunset before you.
How the wind can carry pollen and drop it somewhere it has never been.
How the leaves have always become the soil that then become the leaves again.
How maybe we are not so different from the leaves. How maybe we are always being reborn to something more beautiful than we once were.
How maybe that’s what waking up each morning is. A reminder that we are born with the same atoms as every plant, and bird and mountain and ocean around us.
That we don’t really exist in this world.
We are of it.

–Clint Smith